A yamadori mishap

Good evening,

This is my first post here at Mirai. Great community. Wonderful place. Thanks to everyone, and of course, to Ryan, for the exchange of information and ideas.

I’m writing because I had a collection go bad on me. I’m in Calgary, AB - a rather challenging place to grow. Zone 3b (4a-to-5 depending on the year). Chinook winds routinely wake trees out of dormancy. Wind is frequently a factor. It’s usually pretty dry, although we’re in a 20 year wet cycle right now that comes every 100-150 years. High UV year round. Hot summer days and cold nights.

I collected a Potentilla a couple days ago. I had a limited period of access to the area (a private acreage) on a miserably rainy, cold day. I worked quickly. Perhaps too quickly. Got the tree home with a substantial amount of muck and wild grasses forming a thatch mesh around the root ball. I usually don’t fully bare root, but Potentillas are generally pretty resilient up here so I put it in an impromptu sluice box and gently teased out the grass roots and washed out the high prairie sludge.

With the detritus removed it looked ok. Not a great root ball, but serviceable. I picked the tree up to move to my planting area and then the main 4/5ths of the trunk base came apart in my hands. Little if any force was used in the bare root. I can only surmise that the damage was done up on the foothills where I dug it and the thatch/muck mesh had held it together with me unawares.

The 1/5th remaining on the desired trunk has some roots remaining, but not much. 90% of the growth is on said trunk. The remaining 4/5ths of stump has a pencil thin sucker with enough roots to support a tree 10Xs it’s size. Perhaps this is fate’s way of reminding me not to dig Potentilla in the rain.

Any way…

What should I do? It’s not fully detached from the stump, but I don’t think it can be mended…at least not in an environment like Calgary. Should I try to split it off cleanly, take Randy’s advice, heel it in to sawdust and pray?

Are there any Potentilla experts here?
I can send pictures tomorrow if warranted.

Thanks for your consideration.